Admission/How to Apply

Applicants to the School of Music must meet requirements and submit applications for both Brandon University and the School of Music. See the General Calendar for further information.

For admission to Brandon University, High School graduation in Manitoba or its equivalent is generally the minimum requirement. For more information about Brandon University Admission Requirements, or how to apply to Brandon University, contact the Brandon University Admissions Office.

Entrance Audition

Admission to the School of Music is determined on the basis of an Entrance Audition and supporting materials accompanying the Application. These include information on:

  • Musical background and training;
  • Letters of reference;
  • Although not a formal requirement for admission, fundamental keyboard and theory skills are strongly recommended for students considering future application.

The completed audition form stating the requested audition date and repertoire to be performed should be submitted at least two weeks prior to the audition.

Accompanist fee

If you require an accompanist the fee is $40.00.  Please make your cheque payable to Brandon University and forward your cheque and copies of accompaniment scores to the School of Music. These piano accompaniment scores must be received no later than two weeks before the audition.

The Entrance Audition must be preceded by application to both the University and the School of Music.

The minimum performance standard is approximately Grade VIII Royal Conservatory or Conservatory Canada (Grade VII Conservatory Canada for Woodwind, Brass, and Percussion). Auditions require the performance of three contrasting selections demonstrating the applicant’s musicality and technique and a test of aural skills. Aural skills to be tested will include the ability to sing a note after hearing it played on the piano; to identify (or sing) intervals; to sing up and down major and minor scales or to identify notes from within such scales; to clap back a rhythm after it has been clapped twice; and to play back or sing a short melodic phrase after it has been played twice. Sight reading may also be required. Upon request an accompanist will be provided for a nominal fee.

Music Theory Requirements

To be successful in the first year of the Bachelor of Music program, students need to have a working knowledge of the rudiments of music: all intervals, chord structures, key and meter signatures, notation of rhythm, scales, transposition, and basic Roman numeral analysis.

Students are required to take a written theory assessment either at the time of their audition or at a later date. The theory assessment test will be scheduled for the date of your audition. (Students who have some harmony training may also choose to complete a second, optional portion of the assessment to gain advanced placement in theory courses; if this situation applies to you, please inform the office when you communicate with them about the audition).

The results of the assessment do not affect admission. If a student’s assessment indicates potential difficulties in theory at the time of audition, they will be given a second chance to write the assessment in September. There are several options for students to prepare for success in theory courses at BU:

  1. individual study (independently or with an instructor near home) and success on the Theory Assessment (at audition or in September);
  2. Individual study through the Eckhardt-Gramatté Conservatory’s online program – designed to prepare students for this test, and for success in our theory curriculum – and success on the Theory Assessment (at audition or in September);
  3. Successful completion of the Royal Conservatory of Music Level 8 Theory exam (or equivalent) – just show us your certificate and the need to take our assessment is waived;
  4. Successful completion of 64:110 – Materials of Music, available in your first semester of study. Note that if you do not successfully complete the theory assessment by September, this is the only option open to you. This course cannot count toward a B.Mus. degree. The regular theory course sequence begins in the Winter term, so taking Materials of Music does not delay.

Royal Conservatory of Music (Toronto) Level 8 Theory exam

Please note that if students have successfully completed the Level 8 Theory exam (previously known as Grade 2 Rudiments) with the Royal Conservatory of Music (Toronto) or an equivalent test with another recognized conservatory system such as ABRSM or Conservatory Canada, they are not required to sit the mandatory portion of the assessment. We simply require proof that of successful completion to allow registration into the first regular theory course, Foundations of Tonal Melody and Harmony. The Level 8 Theory test does not however qualify you for advanced placement.

Sample Test

This sample assessment test is designed to help students prepare to write theory assessment. If you have any questions, please contact Dr. Jon-Tomas Godin at godinj@brandonu.ca. Keep in mind that this assessment has no bearing on admission but has considerable importance to successful progress through the music program. We have found it very helpful to learn as early as possible of a student’s strengths in theory.

Remedial Work

An online music theory rudiments course is available to students who wish to upgrade their music theory skills. This course is designed for incoming BU music students to prepare them for first-year university studies in music theory and analysis.

Recorded Auditions

Although live auditions are preferable, recorded auditions on CD or DVD are accepted in cases where travel to Brandon presents serious problems. In these cases, corroborative evidence of performance ability and of the authenticity of the recorded performances is required.  Recorded auditions should be received no later than May 1, 2020.

Students submitting a recorded audition may write the placement test off campus. A suitable supervisor (e.g., teacher, school librarian) will be required to invigilate the test. An early date would be best and, for this to be completed by the end of May would be most helpful in order to allow time to complete remedial work during the summer if required.

Audition dates for Fall admission 2020 are:

  • Thursday and Friday, October 10 and 11, 2019
  • Thursday, February 6, 2020
  • Thursday and Friday, March 19 and 20, 2020
  • Thursday and Friday, April 23 and 24, 2020
  • Friday and Saturday, May 8 and 9, 2020

Applicants requesting an alternate audition date should contact the
Administrative Assistant to the School of Music.

Please follow this link for information on applying to our
GRADUATE PROGRAM.